Cit­i­zens’ group to have re­dis­trict­ing pres­ence at polls

The Progress-Index Weekend - - LOCAL -

OneVir­ginia2021, the non-par­ti­san group that ad­vo­cates for re­dis­trict­ing re­form and fair elec­tions, will be mak­ing its case to vot­ers again this elec­tion sea­son at – where else? – polling places all across the state. Be­side signs that read “You’ve Been Ger­ry­man­dered,” hun­dreds of vol­un­teers will greet vot­ers on Elec­tion Day, hop­ing to bol­ster the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s ef­forts to end the prac­tice of politi­cians draw­ing their own elec­tion dis­tricts to help them­selves and hurt their op­po­nents.“It’s po­lit­i­cal mal­prac­tice,” said Liz White, who is co­or­di­nat­ing the statewide cam­paign from OneVir­ginia2021’s Rich­mond head­quar­ters. “Seats in the Gen­eral As­sem­bly and in Congress be­long to the peo­ple, not to any po­lit­i­cal party.”More than 450 vol­un­teers will be car­ry­ing that mes­sage to polling places around Vir­ginia, as they have done at ev­ery elec­tion for the past eight elec­tions. Through that out­reach and other ef­forts, nearly 89,000 Vir­gini­ans have signed OneVir­ginia2021’s call for a state Con­sti­tu­tional Amend­ment to pro­hibit par­ti­san ger­ry­man­der­ing and cre­ate an in­de­pen­dent com­mis­sion to draw fair elec­tion dis­tricts, rather than let leg­is­la­tors skew the bound­aries in their own fa­vor.

In 2021, af­ter the next Cen­sus shows how the state’s pop­u­la­tion has changed, new bound­aries will be es­tab­lished for all 100 House of Del­e­gates seats, all 40 Vir­ginia Se­nate seats and all 11 of Vir­ginia’s seats in the U.S. Congress. That may seem dis­tant, but it takes at least two years to amend the state con­sti­tu­tion, so OneVir­ginia2021’s ef­forts are on an ur­gent timetable

This year, vol­un­teers at the polls will also be able to tell vot­ers that OneVir­ginia2021 will soon un­veil the text of the pro­posed Con­sti­tu­tional Amend­ment, along with a bill to start the for­mal amend­ment process. Be­ing drafted now by a bi­par­ti­san com­mit­tee of for­mer elected of­fi­cials and elec­tion ex­perts as­sem­bled by OneVir­ginia2021, the Amend­ment will be pro­posed to the Gen­eral As­sem­bly ses­sion that con­venes in Jan­uary.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.